Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/67

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59
THE DAYS OF TERROR BEGIN

In our house mother went from room to room, looking at the little things on the walls and in the cupboards that had been hers since she was a little girl. She sat a long time over father’s clothes. I got out my playthings and cried over them. Some of them had been my grandmother’s toys. Lusanne did not cry. She thought only of Andranik and the loss of her bridal veil, and her tears had dried, like mother’s. Little Hovnan and Mardiros, our brothers, and Sarah and Aruciag, our sisters, cried very hard when we told they must say good-by to their dolls and their kites.

When morning of the last day came I slipped out of our home to visit Mariam, my playmate, who lived a few doors away. Mariam’s family was not very rich, and mother had said I might give her twenty liras from our money, that she might have it to bribe soldiers for protection. But Mariam was not there.

During the night zaptiehs had entered her house and taken her out of her bed, with just her nightdress on, and had carried her away. The soldiers said Rehim Bey had promised them money if they would bring Mariam to his house. Mariam’s mother and little brother were kneeling beside her empty bed when I found them.

On my way back to our house a Turk stopped me. He asked me to go with him. He said I might as well, as “all the pretty Christian girls would have to give